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All shook up

A new physics curriculum got off to a shaky start this week - which is just the way the British Geological Survey wanted it.

The organisation is encouraging schools to install seismometers in their science labs to measure vibrations from the slam of the classroom door to distant earthquakes in Asia and the Pacific.

Schools that already have seismometers detected the earthquake in Kent on April 28, and even a big quake in Taiwan.

"The sheer amazement of detecting signals from such distant events never fails to produce a 'wow' moment, not only in the classroom but on occasion even in the staffroom," said Paul Denton, the project leader at the BGS.

Equally important, the tremors detected on classroom seismometers can be fed into an international network to help seismologists worldwide to predict the next big quake.


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